KKR and Blackstone pursue stake in Swiss sports data group: sources

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - KKR KKR.N and Blackstone BX.N have been picked for a second round of bidding for Sportradar, as investor EQT looks to sell a minority stake that could value the Swiss sports data group at more than 2 billion euros ($2.4 billion), sources said.

FILE PHOTO: The ticker and trading information for Blackstone Group is displayed at the post where it is traded on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), New York, NY, U.S., April 4, 2016. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

The sources familiar with the matter said the second-round of bidding was due in early July, and it was unclear whether other bidders, such as rival private equity firm Permira, were also still in the running.

Evercore is advising EQT on the sale.

The named parties either declined to comment or were not immediately available for comment.

Sportradar supplies data on live sports events and counts sports media and betting companies among its clients.

In 2018 it is expected to post earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization of more than 150 million euros, before costs for sports rights.

Including debt, the company may be valued at 13 times that or more in a potential stake sale.

EQT invested in Sportradar in 2012, and owns 37 percent in the company, while the majority of the group is still owned by founder Carsten Koerl.

Since EQT’s investment, the firm has acquired peers GSS, BTD and Sportsman among others, and expanded its U.S. business via partnerships with the American Football’s NFL, basketball’s NBA, stock car racing’s NASCAR and ice hockey’s NHL.

Sportradar’s U.S. advisory board features celebrity investors such as former basketball star Michael Jordan and Mark Cuban, the owner of the U.S. basketball team Dallas Mavericks.

Sportradar employs 1,900 staff in 24 countries, and tracks 400,000 annual events in 40 sports. Its customers include media organizations such as AP, Kicker, NBC Sports, Google GOOGL.O and Facebook FB.O as well as betting companies such as William Hill WMH.L, Paddy Power PPB.I and Ladbrokes.

Koerl and others founded Sportradar in 2007, based on a company called Market Monitor, in which Koerl had invested and which was originally set up by two Norwegian computer scientists as part of a student programming project.

Reporting by Arno Schuetze; Editing by Mark Potter